The scene is set. As the world adjusts to living with COVID-19, we can see the dust settle on a new landscape.

Retailers are in a state of shock after having to close their doors for many months and make thousands of employees redundant. They have had to take on loans and grants to survive the pandemic, and some big names have been lost for good. Yet consumer confidence has proved resilient in the face of such challenges and households have amassed trillions in savings, which they have been unable or unwilling to spend.

Overall, the retail sector continues to expand and remains an important part of the European and UK economies. The challenge for investors is to identify the winners. Which are the trends that are likely to dominate over the next few years? Which retail formats will thrive and which ones will fail? What will consumers be spending their savings on?

These are some of the questions we address in this latest research study commissioned by Axis Retail Partners to help build an understanding of the Future of Retail.

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This study takes place at a time of huge disruption in business, society and culture. The pandemic has accelerated changes in behaviour and forced businesses, in particular, to innovate at an unprecedented pace in response to an array of challenges. Digital adoption has accelerated across the age ranges more than ever before and many retailers have thrived by shifting business online.

Our study takes a holistic approach to the future of retail. Our expert insights consider the latest trends in retailing. But we have also reflected on changes in society, culture and digital innovation. We have looked at developments in commercial activities, operational efficiencies and new business models. The scale and scope of our research means we are able to share a unique perspective on the future of retail.

The future of retail has rarely been more uncertain or as exciting.

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